Commodities & Metals

Short Sellers Seek Direction on Gold Stocks 

In the two-week short interest reporting period that ended December 31, the price of gold rose by about 6.4%. For 2020, gold futures have gained approximately 25% and posted an all-time high at $2,089.20 in July. In early trading Wednesday, the yellow metal traded at around $1,855 per ounce.

Short interest decreased on three of five gold-mining stocks and two of three exchange-traded funds we track.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) saw short interest drop by 3% to about 6.4 million shares, which represent about 0.8% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two-week short interest period, the share price added about 2.5%. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.00 to $72.22, and shares closed at $62.49 on Tuesday and traded less than 1% higher Wednesday morning.

Barrick Gold Corp.’s (NYSE: GOLD) short interest increased by 12% in the two weeks through December 31. About 12.9 million shares were short, less than 1% of the miner’s total float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares dropped by about 1.6% in the period, and the stock closed at $23.54 on Tuesday. The 52-week trading range is $12.65 to $31.22.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) short sellers dumped 16% of their positions over the two-week period. Some 17.2 million shares were short, or about 1.2% of the stock’s float. The stock added more than 11% in the two-week period to December 31. Days to cover remained at one. Shares closed at $30.99 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $4.82 to $31.78.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) saw short interest rise by 14% in the latter half of December. Less than 1% (1.8 million) of the company’s shares were short. Days to cover remained at two. The stock price rose by about 7% during the short interest reporting period. Shares closed Tuesday at $70.43, in a 52-week range of $31.00 to $89.23.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) short interest plunged by 40% to about 11.8 million shares, or less than 1% of the stock’s float, during the two-week reporting period. The share price added 2.8% in the period, and days to cover remained at one. The stock closed at $7.25 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $2.72 to $10.32.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) short interest fell by 14% in the two-week period to around 19.1 million shares. The share price increased by about 4.4% during the period and closed Tuesday at $36.04. The 52-week range is $16.18 to $45.78.

The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDXJ) short interest dropped by 2% for the two weeks to 4.6 million shares. The share price jumped by about 10.2% during the period that ended December 31. The 52-week range is $19.52 to $65.95, and shares closed Tuesday at $52.66.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) short interest rose by 12.7% to just over 12 million shares in the two-week period. The share price rose by 7%, in a 52-week range is $136.12 to $194.45 and ended Tuesday at $174.12.